30 Frames A Second: The WTO In Seattle And Trade Off

The Seattle uprising in December 1999, occasioned by the World Trade Organization’s convention there, seems to have politicized Rustin Thompson, director of the highly watchable personal video documentary 30 Frames a Second (2000). His analysis of the issues behind the demonstrations is minimal, but the sense of what it was like to be there is pungent throughout, and Thompson includes brief clips from Medium Cool, Godard’s Le petit soldat, and The Grapes of Wrath to pinpoint his own subjectivity. His main discovery, which he conveys in affecting detail, is the continuing capacity of all sorts of Americans to feel passionate about political issues; his principal blind spot is treating opposition to the WTO, and multicorporate greed in general, as an American phenomenon rather than as a global movement. (As a corrective, check out Naomi Klein’s recent book No Logo.) 73 min. (JR)

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